Spencer's "First Nephi" has given me a chance to be reconciled to Nephi, and for that I am grateful. Despite all our efforts to make Nephi a symbol of perfect obedience-- for better or worse-- Spencer shows us a human side of Nephi you may miss otherwise.
The Church history department didn't disappoint with Saints Vol II. I will say, this one will be harder to talk about around the dinner table (I already sparked one family fight) A gripping tale with complex characters, moral ambiguity, and great pacing.
There is always a space between the ideal as taught by the gospel and where we are now. Some are more painfully aware of this gap than others. But it is in this space where grace operates.
This is an important book. Even where I think Greg Prince is wrong, I still think it is that important to read.
I served in the very same Germany Hamburg mission as Roger Terry 33 years later, and this mission memoir was a walk down memory Strasse.
"Ye have omitted the weightier matters of the law." In less than 70 pages, Bennion beautifully highlights Christ's divine mission and his commandment to love God and neighbor.
What I would give to have a Sunday School lesson taught by Lowell Bennion. Bennion refers to the OT as "the least known and least understood of the standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints", and this is his attempt to help address that. My favorite part: the prophets' insistence on justice for the marginalized: "relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."
Lewis and Chesterton were both authors that helped me realize that my own religious tradition doesn't have a monopoly on truth. Abraham Heschel (and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks) has helped me expand that sphere a little further into the Jewish tradition as well (if you have any recommendations from other faith traditions, please let me know).... Continue Reading →